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Friday,26-February-2021

Business

Suresh Prabhu asks Aviation Secretary to review Jet Airways issue

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Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday said he has directed the Secretary for Civil Aviation to review issues concerning Jet Airways and take required steps to minimise passenger inconvenience.

The statement comes after the debt-ridden airline on Thursday suspended long-haul west-bound flight departures for one night.

“Directed Secretary @MoCA_GoI to review issues related to #JetAirways. Asked him to take necessary steps to minimise passenger inconvenience and ensure their safety,” Prabhu tweeted.

The airline’s decision to halt west-bound flights came after it was left with only 14 aircraft from around 120 last year, triggering speculations over its survival as a lengthy stake sale process continued.

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Sensex down 2,000 points, Nifty below 14,500

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Bombay-Stock-Exchange

The freefall on the BSE Sensex continued towards the fag end of the trade on Friday with the BSE Sensex losing over 2,000 points.

The frenzy in the Indian equities followed a global sell-off after a massive jump in the 10-year bond yields in the US.

Gaurav Garg, Head of Research at CapitalVia Global Research said: “Global signals today are extremely negative against the backdrop of a massive jump in 10-year bond yields in the US. We can see a downtrend and it will be negative for the market.”

“Equity markets opened gap down following spike in global bond yields and extended its weakness further as the session progressed. Panic in global bond markets led to sharp rise in yields which spooked investors amid fears of interest rate cycle reversal,” said Hemang Jani, Head of Equity Strategy, Broking & Distribution, Motilal Oswal Financial Servcies.

He said that investors have thus turned to pharma stocks amidst this market crash which is down just 0.4 per cent.

“This sector has been in consolidation mode so far 2021YTD as it witnessed profit booking post sharp rally in CY20. It has also got boost from second PLI scheme being approved for the sector. The market correction might continue for some time till inflation fears ease down,” Jani added.

Around 3.22 p.m., Sensex was trading at 48,950.73, lower by 2,088.58 points or 4.09 per cent from its previous close of 51,039.31.

It has touched an intra-day low of 48,950.05 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was at 14,480.15, lower by 617.20 points or 4.09 per cent from its previous close.

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Most Indian firms still short on displaying ‘digital empathy’

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As more and more Indians adopt digital way of life most organisations are still a long way from authentically displaying “digital empathy” and deliver better customer experiences, a new report has stressed.

Just over a third (37 per cent) of Indian executives have significant insights into customer mindset.

“Drivers of purchase, friction points and attribution of how marketing actions relate to customer behaviour fare only marginally better,” according to Adobe’s ‘2021 Digital Trends Report’.

Interestingly, Indian executives are most likely to agree to having significant insight into drivers of loyalty (46 per cent), journeys of new customers (44 per cent) and attribution of how marketing actions relate to customer behaviour (40 per cent).

“Truly committing to customer experience as a growth lever will mean going beyond response and conversion rates, and instead digging into the motivations, frustrations and thinking of customers throughout the customer journey”, said Nitin Singhal, Head, Digital Experience Business, Adobe India.

Even as things start to normalise in 2021, there is a continual need for organisations to move away from siloed work cultures and tide over the market pressures through rapid innovation and product pivots.

According to the research, executives in India (34 per cent) reported their organisations as dynamic, collaborative and flexible amid the market changes, where they work environments were restricted by traditional hierarchies.

Nearly 71 per cent of executives surveyed in India agreed to their customers benefiting from great digital experiences.

“There’s no doubt that business agility and digital maturity will continue to be a differentiator for businesses, even as we move towards a post-Covid economy,” Singhal said.

The research also found that 26 per cent of those surveyed in India are using a cloud-based platform along with other marketing data management systems, confirming a hybrid approach being adopted by many organisations.

“With accelerated digital adoption brought on by the pandemic, new technologies and effective data management tools are necessary for delivering enhanced customer experiences,” said Dharmarajan K, Chief Product and Customer Experience Officer, Tata CLiQ.

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After petrol and diesel, consumers face cooking gas price rise

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LPG-cylinders

Government seems to be in no mood to subsidise the price of common mans cooking gas which like the price of auto fuels petrol and diesel has maintained consistent increase for past few months.

The price of domestic 14.2-kg LPG cylinder was increased by Rs 25 on Thursday, the third increase in the month of February itself, taking its price Rs 794 a cylinder in Delhi.

While the practice of weekly or fortnightly price revision of cooking gas is normally done for non-subsidised cylinders, this year oil companies shave maintained almost equal increase in price of subsidised LPG cylinders as well.

This has equated its price with market prices cooking gas and thus helping the government to completely eliminate direct benefit transfer (DBT) benefits extended to cooking gas consumers.

“There may just be some element of subsidy that still may be involved in cooking gas if it is getting transported to far off distances from bottling plants. Otherwise, subsidised and non-subsidised cooking gas prices have almost remained same during entire FY21,” said an official of a public sector oil marketing company not willing to be named.

While consumers focus has remained on petrol and field prices, the cooking gas price has gone almost unnoticed. It had risen sharply by over Rs 100 a cylinder in the month of February itself from a level of Rs 694 to Rs 794 a cylinder now.

This month cooking gas prices increased on February 4 by Rs 25 (costed: Rs 719) and February 14 by Rs 50 (costed: Rs 769) and now again on February 25 by Rs 25 to Rs 794 a cylinder.

With government not supporting even cooking gas consumers in the time of rising prices, consumers are bearing the brunt of increase in both their transportation and cooking expenses during the difficult period of pandemic.

There are around 30 crore LPG connections in the country and the the levelling of non-subsidised and subsidized LPG cylinder means that the government substantially reduces DBT payments in FY22 as well.

If oil and products prices remain range bound even next year, by the end of the year even LPG subsidy would be completely eliminated, oil sector experts said.

Government’s DBT burden even from middle of current fiscal has reduced to nil due to softer LPG prices. The only money that the government would need in FY 22 is towards providing free cooking gas connection to 1 crore additional beneficiaries under the Ujjwala scheme.

As per provision made in this year’s budget, DBT transfer towards LPG subsidy has been brought down to Rs 12,480 crore in FY22 from a level of Rs 25,520.79 crore in the revised estimates for FY21.

The budget estimate for LPG subsidy this year (FY21) was even higher at Rs 35,605 crore but subdued global prices helped government to save on LPG subsidy prices that got used for providing three free cylinders to Ujjawala consumers for the lockdown period.

Government provides 12 subsidised LPG cylinder to a household in a year.

While the household buys LPG cylinders at market price, the gap between subsidised and non subsided cylinders is transferred to consumers bank accounts under the DBT scheme.

This transfer has remained suspended during most parts of FY21 as oil companies have raised price of even subsidised cylinders to market levels.

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